Since when is “nothing” a dirty word?

“So what are you doing today?”
“Nothing.”
“Oh…”
Silence.

This was the conversation I heard at least five times between Craig sitting on the doorstep of our room enjoying the sun and the view, and various people walking past, as I dozed this morning. Needless to say, the aforementioned ‘people walking past’ were all busy preparing for a day of doing.

We’re staying in Secret Garden Cotopaxi, an eco hostel in the countryside south of Quito. There are hammocks, comfy sofas, a composting toilet, log fires and, best of all, an incredible view of snow-capped Cotopaxi Volcano. Thanks to the bulge of the earth around the Equator, Cotopaxi, at 5,897m, has the distinction of being the second furthest point of the world from the earth’s core, and also, arguably, the world’s most perfectly formed volcano. Whatever, it’s beautiful.

As well as happily-stare-all-day views and lounging perfection, the hostel offers a number of activities: Cotopaxi Volcano glacier trek followed by downhill mountain biking (US$25-35 plus US$10 national park entry), Rumiňahui Volcano trek followed by downhill mountain biking (US$10-15), six hours of horse riding (US$35), trout fishing, trekking, mountain biking…the list goes on.

Yesterday we joined the free two-hour guided walk to some nearby waterfalls. The hostel provides wellies and we were advised to make good use of them; half of the hike involves clambering along the bouldered stream bed. The rest of the walk takes place along muddy half paths skimming the steep river banks. Predictably, I fell in. Up to my neck. It was at a point when I felt most confident, clinging on to the river bank just above a deep still pool. “Remember what we learnt in climbing lessons,” advised Craig (unasked, I might add). “Check each hand hold,” he added as my particular choice gave way and I tumbled backwards into the water.

As far as I’m concerned, my dunking just made the doing nothing even better. You can appreciate a hot shower, bottle of red wine and log fire so much more when you can’t even unhook your bra because your right-hand thumb is too numb from the cold.

Today, we’re not doing any of the activities. We’re sitting in hammocks, watching the clouds swoop and swirl around Cotopaxi, drinking the free tea on offer and the most energetic activity undertaken, making use of the composting toilet.

In my world, “nothing” means bliss.

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Comments
4 Responses to “Since when is “nothing” a dirty word?”
  1. Fida says:

    Enjoy your doing nothing day – or days 😉 You call the waterfall hike doing nothing? Just kidding. Actually I had similar reactions when I sat on the doorstep of a Thailand hut-accommodation, soaking up the sun and doing nothing all day. We travelers are so busy scheduling, booking, looking that we don’t allow ourselves a ‘day off’.

  2. With a name like Craig I am surprised if he didn’t understand the beauty of doing nothing….because just like no action is an action – do nothing is actually (if not ironically) do something…. keep enjoying the journey.

    stay adventurous,
    Craig

  3. Don’t underestimate the power of vegging. It’s a magical thing. 🙂 My biggest problem is that I try to pack too much into my vacations. I need to follow your example and do a hell of a lot of nothing.

    • I think vegging is highly underated. Glad to find someone who agrees =)

      Unfortunately, my problem is that whenever I do actually veg I end up working, which tends to look like surfing the internet…!

      Cheers to true, non-interupted vegging! Veggies unite (not the non-meat eating kind, although they’re welcome too, obviously).

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